Louisville pulled off one of its biggest recruiting coups in program history, as five-star running back Rueben Owens II – the No. 1 running back in the 2023 class – committed to the Cardinals Monday over a plethora of offers. Owens, a product of El Campo, Texas, had a list of suitors that included Alabama, Ohio State, Texas and many others.
“I have always been a trailblazer, and aimed to create my own legacy on the road less traveled in hopes of inspiring others to believe in themselves,” Owens wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “It was the driving force in me making this life-changing decision on where to spend the next 3-4 years of my life.”
Owens becomes the No. 2 recruit in Louisville history, passing quarterback Brian Brohm and trailing only longtime NFL running back Michael Bush. Owens ranks as the No. 16 player in the industry standard 247Sports Composite rankings, and he is the top rusher by a substantial margin. Only two other running backs rank among the top 50 players in the nation.
The El Campo product rushed for an absurd 2,989 yards on 248 attempts with 46 touchdowns in 2021. His Ricebirds went undefeated against fellow 4A teams in the regular season before losing in the third round of the playoffs against Little Cypress-Mauriceville.
Owens is the headliner in what is poised to be a historic recruiting class for coach Scott Satterfield and his staff. The Cardinals rank No. 11 in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings with 10 commitments, just one spot behind USC. Owens has said will not take any visits to other colleges with six months remaining until the Early Signing Period.
The electric Owens has ranked among the most-offered players in the 2023 recruiting class since he was an underclassman. Owens received his first recorded offer on Oct. 10, 2019, from Arkansas, when he would have been a freshman in high school. By the beginning of his sophomore season, he had 20 offers.
Listed at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, Owens earned a comparison to former Alabama star T.J. Yeldon from 247Sports Midlands Recruiting Analyst Gabe Brooks, and he boasts consistently sub-11 100-meter speed while being a notable long jumper.
Owens should fit well into Satterfield’s dynamic run offense. The Cardinals rushed for 2,728 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2021, including a combined 1,153 yards and six scores from running back duo Jalen MItchell and Trevion Cooley. Owens should immediately slot into the rotation and be a difference maker.
Owens is just the latest addition to a game-changing recruiting class at Louisville. Quarterback recruit Pierce Clarkson has taken a center role in recruiting fellow 2023 prospects to join him at Louisville, with several Californians following him.
Wide receiver DeAndre Moore ranks as a top-60 player in the class, while Clarkson’s high school teammate, cornerback Aaron Williams, sits at No. 140. Fellow teammate Jahlil McClain ranks in the top 500, while Inglewood, California, product Jamari Johnson joins the fray.
Clarkson claimed on Twitter that Louisville fans should “expect another one” after reeling in the game-changing running back.